Last Call

By Randall Mann Randall Mann
A giant bird-
of-paradise
has climbed the bar:
in this paradise

there are no flowers,
no flowers at all.
When Happy Hour
becomes Last Call—

Adam in drag
our royalty—
we buy her gin
for eternity

(an unseen deejay
scores the years
with pulsing music
of the spheres).

Now the queen has gone,
gone again
in search of love,
in search of sin.

It’s closing time.
You were not at fault.
I drain my glass   
and lick the salt.

Randall Mann, “Last Call,” from Poetry (August 2004). Copyright © 2004 by Randall Mann.

Source: Poetry (August 2004).

 Randall  Mann

Biography

Randall Mann’s poems are often set within the landscape of Florida or California. Influenced by Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Bishop, and Donald Justice, Mann’s poetry—at once vulnerable, unflinching, and brave in its ambivalence—explores themes of loss, attraction, brutality, and expectation. Of his preference for working in form, Mann says, “Form helps me approach more comfortably the personal, helps me harden argument.”

Mann is . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Relationships, Eating & Drinking

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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